Leadership Information


Why the Squirrel Kept Winning!


I had the good fortune (or misfortune depending on your climate perspective) of living in Minnesota for ten years. The Summers were beautiful, Fall was spectacular with the changing colors of the leaves on trees and winter was,?well, damn cold.

My neighbor, Harold was a nice old guy who had retired many years ago who hibernated all winter but loved to garden during the summer. The only time I saw Harold come out of his house was to put some bird food in the feeder he'd setup on his tree in the front yard.

Every year, as winter began to set in, I would see squirrels all around our front lawns gathering food. They'd scurry around digging and prodding hoping to fill their jowls with some food and return to their hole.

One day I saw Harold putting some metal sheets around the base of his tree where he kept his bird feeder. I didn't understand why until another neighbor explained to me that Harold was trying to keep the squirrels from eating the bird food. By putting the metal sheets around the base Harold thought the squirrels wouldn't be able to climb up the tree. The next morning, the food was gone.

Later that week I saw him wrap a jagged funnel around the base of the tree. It looked like those funnels dog's wear around their neck so it won't bite or lick its wounds. Well imagine one of those wrapped around the tree with the wide part pointing down with jagged edged. It looked like something out of a Frankenstein flick. Yet, the next day, the food was gone.

The following week Harold figured he'd put the bird feeder on a string and hang it from the tip of one of the branches. I believe his thinking was that the squirrel couldn't go out to the edge of the branch because the branch wouldn't support the weight thereby not allowing the squirrel to get to the feeder. Next day, you got it, the food was gone.

This battle between Harold and the squirrel went on for at least the 10 years I was his neighbor. I wanted to tell Harold that his attempts were futile and that he would never win this 'War of the Feeder'; but I didn't say anything. I just watched. It was cheap entertainment.

As this was happening, I started thinking about how unfair the match up was between a man and a squirrel. I didn't feel sorry for the squirrel...I felt sorry for Harold. Although Harold was stronger and smarter than the squirrel, he lacked the one quality that would guarantee him victory, focus.

You see Harold thinks about ways of preventing the squirrel from getting the food on occasion, when he has time. The squirrel on the other hand has its mind on getting that food 24 hours a day. The squirrel's very survival depends on it. Survival brings about, not just focus but an intense focus on solving a problem by removing an obstacle. Unless Harold shows that same level of 24 hour commitment and intensity, I have my money on the squirrel every time.

Success is not about who is stronger. Success is not about who has more money. Success is not about who has a better GPA. Success is about who is more focused and committed to achieving their objectives. You, the reader, can compete with any person no matter who they may be. The only thing you have to do is commit yourself to focusing in on the very subject that interests you. When you focus in on one thing, like the squirrel, all of your mind's resources are directed at attaining your objective and obtaining your rewards. With focus, you begin to take in more information quickly because you're interested in learning, you want know everything. You are consumed by your focus to succeed!

Harold was not an expert in stopping squirrels; it was a task that needed to be done and he attended to it when he had time. The squirrel on the other hand became an expert at bypassing obstacles and solving problems because he focused all its attention on obtaining the end goal, food.

In today's market, too many people want to be generalist (i.e., good at a lot of things or jack of all trades but master of none). But the market DOES NOT REWARD generalists, they REWARD experts. The market wants people who are good at doing a particular task; an expert. You want job security? Become an expert in your field of expertise. How do you become an expert? Like the squirrel, you focus.

Harold was 92 and died the year we moved from Minnesota. I don't know how long Harold fought the 'War of the Feeder' but as I drove off on the last day I looked back and saw a squirrel scurrying around the front lawn still trying to get to the bird feeder that still hung from the tree. Harold was gone but the squirrel was still around, still strategizing and still focused. The squirrel had won!

Please forward this article; share it with a friend who needs it.

Victor Gonzalez, top Hispanic motivational speaker and author of "The LOGIC of Success". For more info go to: www.thelogicofsuccess.com or by email victor@thelogicofsuccess.com


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


Washington Post

Fortune just named the 'World's 50 Greatest Leaders.' Only one current US elected official is on it
Washington Post
Fortune Magazine released its fifth annual list of who it deems the "World's 50 Greatest Leaders," and for the first time, there's not a single name at the top of the list. Rather than naming a CEO, a pope or a baseball executive to top the annual ...
Fortune's World's Great Leaders ListFortune
Fortune Magazine names Nick Saban one of world's 50 greatest leaders of 2018SECcountry.com

all 38 news articles »


Council on Foreign Relations (blog)

Working on World Order: Help Wanted for Twenty-First Century US Leadership
Council on Foreign Relations (blog)
To help address the myriad challenges stemming from technological innovation and automation, the Council on Foreign Relations recently released an Independent Task Force report, The Work Ahead: Machines, Skills, and U.S. Leadership in the Twenty-First ...



Singularity Hub

How Thought Leadership Inspires Action With Ideas
Singularity Hub
Denise Brosseau believes that leading in today's complicated world requires clarity of intention, voice, and focus. In essence, it requires thought leadership. In Denise's view, thought leadership isn't just about being famous or being known, it's ...



Forbes

The Reality And Rewards Of Leadership
Forbes
Leadership articles are a dime a dozen. I should know, I read them daily and I write them. Most of them are uplifting and inspiring, discussing things like authenticity, trust and transparency. That's why I read them and I unapologetically love it ...



Forbes

The Importance Of Self-Leadership
Forbes
Earlier on in my career, I thought that the practical aspects of leadership would make my business stronger, such as learning how to communicate effectively, make decisions under pressure or ensure payroll was always done on time. I've come to realize ...



Forbes

The Secrets Of Leadership Presence For Every Woman Leader
Forbes
By: Ellen Keithline Byrne, Karen Kirchner, and Denise D'Agostino. You know that woman who walks into the room, delivers a message and everyone's eyes are glued to her, listening to every word? She stands tall, even if she's 5' in height. She commands ...



Quartz

James Comey's new book "A Higher Loyalty" offers four key lessons in leadership
Quartz
In the midst of the Twitter attacks by Donald Trump and his unceremonial firing by the US president in 2017, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that in his 30-plus year career, James Comey prosecuted mafia members, worked in the private sector as the ...

and more »


Forbes

3 Leadership Lessons We Can Learn From Southwest Airlines Pilot Tammie Jo Shults
Forbes
Despite discrimination and resistance, Shults remained courageously focused on her goal, an essential leadership skill that paved the way for women far beyond the aviation industry. 3. Show your team you genuinely care about their well-being. A good ...
Heroic Southwest Airlines Pilot Tammie Jo Shults Just Displayed 4 Keys to Remarkable LeadershipInc.com
Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 engine failure (courtesy LiveATC.net) by The Morning Call - Valley View | Free ...SoundCloud
wrote Diana McBride Self - FacebookFacebook
Kansas City Star
all 400 news articles »


The Hill

Restoring American diplomacy starts with leadership at home
The Hill
April marks the 70th anniversary of the Marshall Plan. The creation of an enlightened and visionary State Department, the Marshall Plan rebuilt war-torn Europe, resuscitated markets for U.S. exports, and thwarted communist expansion, at the cost of ...



Harvard Business Review

The Best Leaders See Things That Others Don't. Art Can Help.
Harvard Business Review
I don't often start essays about leadership with insights from French novelists, but in this case it seems appropriate. “The real act of discovery,” Marcel Proust wrote, “consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes.” Today the most ...


Google News

home | site map
© 2007